Monday, September 7, 2015

Adventures in (home)schooling!

This year, we are embarking upon a new journey for our family: home schooling! I imagine the reaction to this will be all across the board, and while my own emotions have certainly covered a wide range, DH and I feel an overwhelming peace about this decision.

Being home schooled myself for the majority of my schooling, I always said I wanted to home school my own children. But when it came time for Lucy to actually start school, we felt the Lord leading us in an entirely different direction. We have always stuck by the mantra that we would take it year by year though, so as each school year comes before us, we have prayed and sought God's direction for what He would have us to do, and in Lucy's few short years of education thus far, she has experienced a variety of paths: public school, private school, and now, home school.

Since DH is between jobs right now, we really feel that home schooling will give our family not only the most flexibility as we search for what God has for us to do, but it will also allow Lucy the most stability through this school year. Having already taken her out of one school here, I would hate for us to get her adjusted to a new school only to possibly have to take her out of that one, too. We are also excited about the opportunity that home schooling will allow our family to bond in a new way. I'm sure there are going to experience multiple levels of chaos going on in our house trying to teach a second grader while having one pre-schooler and one toddler under foot, not to mention a tired/nauseated pregnant mommy-teacher and soon-to-be-newborn joining our Toller troup, but overall we are excited to embrace the crazy and enjoy this new adventure!

For this year, we will be using the Sonlight curriculum. I'm so excited to dive into this Bible-based curriculum that's full of so many wonderful books! We decided to wait until after Labor Day to start (I actually remember that's about the same time I started my second grade year, too...),
so tomorrow will be our first official day of home schooling!

Our piano studio has undergone a bit of a facelift with the addition of beautiful new flooring
 (thanks to my amazing DH who installed it!) and an antique school desk that I actually used as a little girl, too! I added a corner shelf to give us some more organization options in the room, too.
 (This curriculum is VERY much literature-based/reading-intensive, so there are a TON of books to find room for!) I am hoping to add a large, magnetic chalkboard to the wall in front of her desk, too, but in the mean time we will utilize our chalkboard cross for our weekly memory verses.
 It's always interesting to me how every time I feel like we have absolutely no room left in our house, God always provides the space we need. As I prayed over how to rearrange furniture, things just fell into place. In fact, with the addition of furniture in the studio, I actually feel like the space is even more functional than it was before! I'm enjoying my somewhat-new teaching space, and I'm excited about the time we will spend in there doing school.

To make the start of school seem a bit more special, I took Lucy school supply shopping today. She doesn't need a whole lot, but it was fun letting her pick out fun colored pencils and erasers and a new pencil box. She was having a hard time deciding which one to get (poor kid has gotten my indecisive tendencies) and said, "I think we should get both of these." I said, "Lucy, we don't need two pencil boxes!" She replied, "No Momma, I think Gabriel would really like to have one, too." It totally warmed my heart to see her thinking of her brother! So, GP will awake tomorrow to an Avengers pencil box filled with brand new crayons,
 along with a preschool prep workbook. (That boy is obsessed with his letters!) and my sweet Lucy bug will have a Cinderella pencil box...filled with Avengers pencils! LOL! She truly is such a great mixture of her momma and daddy! I even picked up some new blocks and playdoh for Annie and Gabriel to be able to play (hopefully) quietly with as Lucy is doing her school work.

We also incorporated some of our previous before-school-starts traditions by taking Lucy out for cheesecake this evening. She enjoyed a HUGE piece of red velvet cheesecake with plenty left to bring home to enjoy later!
After we came home, we laid out her clothes for tomorrow (she has a new outfit that we have saved for her first day of school) and read the same book we read each year before school begins: "Petunia the Silly Goose."
I love how the moral of this book is simply stated in a quote towards the end: "It is not enough to carry wisdom under my wing. I must put it in my mind and in my heart." This so speaks my desire for Lucy's education--I want her to have knowledge always at her fingertips, and I want her to learn how to actually use it in her every day life. Even more than that, I want her to see how Jesus desires to enter every part of her life and show her how He can use that knowledge to work in and through her life if she will have a heart willing to follow Him. So not only will we study reading and writing and arithmetic, but we will also focus on God's Word and see how everything flows together so seamlessly. I'm so excited to embark upon this new journey as a family! Please pray for us as we seek to be organized and yet flexible. Pray for us to teach in a way that is exciting and clear, and pray for an eagerness in Lucy to learn and grow.

Good-bye summer, and hello second grade! 

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